The last few weeks have impacted all of our lives in many unprecedented ways. Yes, I’m talking about the Coronavirus pandemic and how it has effectively changed how people and businesses function. The long-term effects of this development still remain to be seen, however, current trend changes cannot be ignored.
Drastic changes have taken place in how we live and work. More and more companies have eased into allowing their employees to work from home. Some have even sent their entire workforce back home indefinitely until the pandemic subsides. They have outright given unpaid leaves. But on the other hand, many small and struggling businesses have closed down.
Similarly, digital trends have also shifted. Most noticeably, internet search trends. And if you’re a digital marketer like me, you’ll see that there’s an actionable opportunity during every trend shift.
In this article, we will provide insights into SEO changing patterns, search engine trends, trending online searches. In addition, we will provide recommendations about how digital marketers and businesses can respond to these changes.
Visits to retail stores plunge massively amid COVID-19
I feel this is a very relevant statistic to start off with. A lot of new digital trends have sprung up due to a severe limitation on physical store visits and retail stores.
As people become more and more aware of the dangers of spreading coronavirus, their visits to most retail stores have plummetted.
The impact of social distancing is being felt heavily by luxury, retail stores as people are only inclined to buy basic necessities only for now. For some time now, advertisers have been using Google Ads to understand the impact of their online advertising using store visit conversions. Advertisers in the U.S. began noticing the change early February. And by March they began collecting data which showed visits to the store were declining rapidly. Until the last week of March when virtually no unnecessary visits to the stores were recorded. A fall of 90% is seen in March compared to February as shown in the graph below.
With the unforeseeable rise of coronavirus spreading in all parts of the world, the spread of virus news has also exponentially risen. Terms like coronavirus and COVID-19 have inevitably been the highest searched terms in the last month and continue to be so. Similarly, other terms like “tax preparation” and “travel bookings” have also become rampant in online searches. You can use Google and see the most frequently searched queries. Some of them include:
And the trends for the following week show the following:
Marie Haynes started a trend on her Twitter account, asking SEOs if they have seen changes in organic search traffic. About 60% said they saw a decline, almost 16% reported a rise in traffic while 14% reported no observable change by mid-march 2020.
How should you respond?
Digital marketers and SEOs can respond in the following ways:
Be on a lookout for new keywords
Revisit your search term report daily
Follow trending searches for COVID-19
Mobile search traffic declines in March
While most people are staying indoors practising social distancing, the percentage of mobile searches has gone down as compared to previous months.
Even though overall search traffic has declined across devices in the United States, mobile search traffic has declined more than desktops and laptops. Maybe settling down at home for a long period of time makes people more comfortable in using larger devices.
The following image shows Google search ads traffic from the last week of February across the three aforementioned platforms.
Since Monday, March 16, mobile traffic has consistently been down an average of 24% from the last week of February. Tablet traffic is similarly suffering from a 19% drop in the same time period. Desktop traffic is steadier, showing an 18% decline during the week and only a 7% decline on the weekends.
This decline is largely due to a lack of commuting back and forth from work, as well as no food and perishable food item deliveries being made.
More people are working from home and staying off the roads and office places. They are spending less time searching for services such as shopping, travelling, movies, entertainment, etc. However, a rising trend has been observed in a few other areas. Vodafone reported it has seen a 50% rise in internet usage since the outbreak of the pandemic, COVID-19. This means that you can still reach your potential customers but you have to change your marketing strategies with changing trends.
Simply put, you should try to reach your target audience by targeting a variety of new search terms that have become popular.
How should you respond?
Marketers can take advantage of this by doing the following:
Find your target audience and customers on other networks
Do so using all available advertising tools
ALWAYS include Google Search Partners
Revamp your old ads by adding sight and sound. (Gifs and videos are now viable ad options)
Link building to promote your business
Search engines primarily use links to discover new pages on the internet. Similarly, links are also used to determine where a page should rank in search results.
Obviously, not all marketers rely on paid advertising to increase digital visibility. However, ranking a page naturally takes time; but this process can be sped up by securing premium link placements.
High-quality links are more vital than ever before. Especially if you have a new page and you need traffic on it fast.
Take a look at a page from our website. We wanted to rank this page for the keywords “Real Estate SEO”.
With just a couple of high-quality links, we were able to jump from “page 2” all the way to the very top of the SERPs; occupying the coveted “featured snippet” position.
With COVID-19 causing all sorts of trend changes around the digital realm, building high-quality links is a surefire way to ensure that your website ranks faster and higher.
Link Building Results
Once you begin receiving links directed to your website/page, you should begin to link out more. Become a part of the community that is yours and promote your brand image. Linking out more also has added benefits like:
. Higher traffic
. Positive contribution to brand marketing
. Higher page rank
. More inbound marketing
. Higher SERP ratings
A detailed explanation of link building can be found here.
Are you a realtor looking to rank your real estate website on the first page of Google? Or maybe you’re an SEO agency trying to get some traction for your real estate client. If that’s the case, then this article is for you.
Some real estate SEO guides are too simple and amateurish to be of any help. Others are too long and complex. This guide, however, is perfect for those who have a basic to intermediate understanding of SEO and want to learn exactly how they can optimize their real estate website. Follow our tips to rank your way to the top and generate hundreds, if not thousands, of leads without actively spending money.
In this article, we’ll show you:
How to develop a 360 strategy for effective real estate SEO.
The 3 real estate SEO pillars you need to know to rank your website.
An easy to follow guide (and checklist) which shows you how to master real estate SEO.
Lead generation and SEO for real estate is a tricky game. This isn’t some run-of-the-mill product that’ll retail for $10-$30. You can expect your customers to do extensive research online before they even visit a property. And with the digital boom, marketers have explored all online avenues, making the average cost per lead $40 for moderate real estate markets to $60 for slow real estate markets. That’s why paid marketing for real estate lead generation might not be a viable option for all real estate businesses.
The phenomenal spread of smart devices, coupled with internet access virtually everywhere, means that users are searching on the go. Online marketing for real estate companies is becoming increasingly competitive, and SEO – especially local SEO – has become mission critical.
Now, why did we just mention SEO?
Paid marketing will effectively target only those in the ‘purchase’ stage.
With leads costing upwards of $30, no paid marketer is going to waste precious $$$ “educating” customers or nurture a user still in the awareness stage. Organic marketing or SEO is better in this regard because it automatically creates a funnel passing users from “awareness” to “consideration” and finally to “decision”. That’s because real estate SEO relies heavily on content marketing and high-ranking real estate companies will be those who provide the most complete information.
Organic marketing is long-term and will lead to auto-pilot leads.
Paid marketing or pay-per-click advertising will get leads straight to your digital doorstep, but the moment you stop spending, the leads stop and you’re back to square one. On the other hand, SEO ranks up your profile over time and once you put in the time and effort to rank on a high-value real estate keyword, then you will not lose your position unless another real estate business puts in a greater effort to outrank you.
This online real estate giant spends quite a bit on paid marketing. Case in point: all their ads for the keywords buy apartments in Seattle:
However, despite their impressive ad spend, they are also ranking #1 organically for the same search query:
Now that we have established the importance of search engine optimization in real estate, let’s have a look at some strategies and tips you can follow to ensure that your real estate listings rank among the top spots for your desired keywords.
Here Are 14 Tips to Help You Optimize for Real Estate SEO:
Claim your Google My Business listing.
Use our winning formula to develop your real estate SEO keywords.
Create localized, city-specific, content.
Develop a mobile-first website.
Optimize your HTML tags and descriptions.
Upgrade to HTTPS.
Implement schema markup.
Add useful tools to your site.
Optimize for image SEO.
Fix broken links.
List your properties on major platforms.
Write guest blogs.
Get local citations.
Earn online reviews.
Let’s break down these 14 tips into three major categories, Local SEO, On-page optimization, Off-page optimization, and dive right in!
How many times have you searched something on your phone and you chose the search result nearest to you?
Well, that usually happens with physical businesses or a result that’s highly dependent on location. Those top 3-4 results have mastered local SEO that allows them to rank in Google’s knowledge box with valuable details that are not given to other lower-ranking results.
We are talking about the highly coveted “Google 3-Pack.” The top 3 location-based results for a particular search query.
This list used to consist of 7 results, but since 2015, Google has changed it to 3 results. Hence, the competition has gotten significantly harder and more than half of the businesses that used to rank in “7-packs” don’t have a place in the “3-pack”.
Take a look at these search results for “Electricians in Boston.”
If you own a real estate website want to appear on the top searches on Google, the first thing you need to focus on is getting the local SEO right. Now why is that important? Google does not display the same results for everyone. Your search results are personalized depending on your search history, preferences and location. This means that a person searching for condos in Miami, FL will find different results than one in Chicago, IL.
If you’re a real estate SEO, you will need to identify the regions where you want to rank well, and the pages you want to display in those search results. After all, there’s no point in trying to show a Miami listing to someone who’s searching for “condos in Chicago”
And the art of ranking on top in your targeted locations is, you guessed it, local SEO. But how do you go about optimizing your page for local SEO?
How To Optimize For Local Real Estate SEO
Claim Your Google My Business Listing
The first step in local SEO is claiming your Google My Business listing. This allows you to list your business details on Google, including your business name, business address and business phone number. We also call this your NAP (Name, Address, and Phone Number).
It’s very important that your NAP is consistent across all digital channels, such as your website and social media pages & accounts. Once you’ve claimed your Google My Business listing, you will start appearing on knowledge cards on Google SERPs, Google’s 3 Pack, and on Google Maps.
After your Google My Business Listing has been verified, you can also create citation accounts on Facebook, Yelp, Yellow Pages, Foursquare and other places. This ensures that when a user searches for real estate agencies or listings on these platforms instead of Google, you appear in their results.
Keyword Research for Real Estate
We’ve analyzed thousands of different real estate keywords to arrive at a winning formula. Our research shows that the best real estate SEO keywords use the following format:
“city name” real estate
“city name” homes for sale
“city name + state abr” real estate
“city name + state abr” homes for sale
“property type” for sale in “city name”
“property type” for sale in “city name + state abr”
“action + property type” in “city name”
“action + property type” in “city name + state abr”
You will need to study your market fully before you can create an exhaustive list of real estate keywords that will help you rank higher. However, you should also know Google is moving away from keywords to search intent – which is good news for both real estates and search users. This means that you can rank for keywords that are not explicitly mentioned on your page as long as you are satisfying a search query, while search users get to see relevant results that help them make a decision.
Create City Specific Content
Creating city specific content through blogs, transcribed videos and interviews is a great way for a real estate to rank their website. While this involves a lot of research and hours of writing, editing and publishing, the end result is worth it.
This also ties into the concept of E-A-T, which is an acronym for Expertise, Authority and Trust. Google will reward sites with high EAT and one way to improve your EAT is to be seen as an authority on the subject.
But how does that tie with local SEO?
Let’s talk about a fictional scenario: Emily is moving from her hometown of Scranton, PA to Chicago because she found a great job there. She’s looking to rent an apartment in the city. Probably the first thing she’s going to do, apart from asking around her social circle, is to Google “moving to Chicago.”
If you, a real estate agent, were to create useful, engaging and actionable content that answers Emily’s query by telling her everything she needs to know before making the jump, you increase the chances of her TRUSTING you to provide useful information and USING your website to find apartments in Chicago.
You need to be local and useful by creating content around each city where you want to dominate. Naturally, some cities will be easier than others depending on their search volume and competition.
Creating such top-funnel content opens up opportunities to hook a user when they are in their initial research phase. If you’re not sure about what to write, you can create useful content around the following topics:
City landmarks and attractions
Economy, jobs and top employers
Schools and neighborhoods
Restaurants and shopping
Things to do
On-page optimization is SEO-speak for making technical fixes and improvements on your website to help you rank higher. These fixes are prerequisites for winning at digital marketing for real estate companies.
Some of the things that we mentioned in Local SEO Optimization, such as keyword research and creating optimized content, fall under the category of on-page optimization as well. Obviously, we’re not going to be repeating them. But let’s discuss additional ways to optimize your website for SEO.
How to Optimize For On-Page Real Estate SEO
Be Mobile First
Google has shifted to mobile-first indexing which means that your website’s mobile version is given more importance than the desktop version. If your website is still not optimized for mobile viewers, you should fix that before doing anything else.
Moreover, research shows that 73% of all users used a mobile device to search for real estate while 58% of millennial home buyers found their home on a mobile device. So, the verdict is pretty clear for real estate websites: it’s mobile or bust.
Optimize your tags and meta description
An easy fix, all you have to do is properly use state, city, and town names in your title tags, meta descriptions, and the main body.
Upgrade to HTTPS
Ditch HTTP and go for HTTPS on your site. The ‘S’ at the end of HTTPS stands for ‘Secure’ because all information transferred between the browser and your site is encrypted using an SSL certificate. Google places more trust in sites with HTTPS, which helps you with rankings.
Implement Schema Markup
Use schema local markup to let search engine crawlers know exactly what they’re looking at and how to catalog all the information on your site. Schema markup refers to specific tags that “tell” Google how to display your page information on SERPs.
Real estate SEOs should also ensure that all of your listings are indexable and have an XML sitemap. This will give you an edge over your competitors who are too lazy to make sitemaps and schema work for them. The topic of schema markup is slightly long and technical. If you’re interested, here is a helpful resource from Moz to introduce you to the topic.
Add Tools Like Mortgage Calculators on Your Website
This ties in with our advice about creating helpful content. Most users who are in their early research phase will be using DIY mortgage calculators to get an idea of what’s in their range. Add this tool to your website to get these users into your funnel.
The best part is that you don’t have to create this tool from scratch. A number of mortgage calculator plugins are available that you can install on your website.
Optimize for Image SEO
Adding alt-text and optimizing real estate listings for image SEO increases Google Images clicks by 37%. You should make this a standard practice whenever you’re adding a new listing on your website. This tiny change could mean that your next lead, and $$$, are coming thanks to image SEO.
Fix Broken Links
Another best practice is to periodically audit your website for broken links. You can run it in small sprints by checking particular sections at a time. Chances are that you will find some broken links to internal listings that have been removed or to other sites that have changed the URL of the page you were linking to.
Broken links have an adverse impact on the user experience as it temporarily halts their search, and by extension, their journey down your sales funnel. You can use the free version of tools like Screaming Frog SEO Spider to check for broken links.
The third pillar of your real estate SEO strategy is off-page optimization. While there’s a limit to how much you can optimize the technical aspects and keywords on your page, off-page SEO (also called off-site SEO) gives you more room to work with.
One of the biggest focus of off-page SEO is earning backlinks. Google considers high quality backlinks as one of the best ways to assess your authority, and websites with a strong backlink profile almost always rank better. So, here’s how you can go about optimizing for off-page SEO.
How to Optimize For Off-Page Real Estate SEO
Get Your Properties Listed On Major Platforms
Listing your real estate properties on platforms such as Zillow significantly increases their impressions (number of views). Zillow uses a massive database, smart technology, a great network of realtors, and continuous research to keep up with the market. In 2018, Zillow received a staggering 7.10 billion annual visits on their websites and apps, making it the most successful real estate marketplace in the world. You can also list your properties on other websites such as Trulia (also owned by Zillow) and Realtor.com.
Write Guest Blogs
Identify reputable publishers within the real estate industry and contribute content to their site. Most publishers are hungry for quality content since there’s only so much their in-house team can create.
Guest blogs are a great way to earn backlinks that point back to your site. If your content is really good, you will be able to publish it on some of the biggest names in your niche and get backlinks from authoritative websites. If you’re not sure which real estate blogs to target, Hubspot has compiled an excellent list that you can check here.
However, effective link building requires a lot of resources. If all of this sounds overwhelming, you can always use the help of an experienced SEO agency to help you out.
Get Local Citations
A local citation is any mention or listing of your business on the web. Complete citations include your NAP (company name, address, and phone number). Citations are extremely important in ranking for local search results. Most citations may come with either no backlinks or no-followed links – that’s fine. If you get citations with backlinks to your site, that’s even better as it helps strengthen your overall backlink profile. You can get citations from Yelp, Yellowpages, Facebook, Instagram, Superpages, MapQuest and other places.
Earn Online Reviews
Get organic reviews on popular platforms to improve your brand image and boost your online presence. Make sure your reviews are not artificial or paid for, as this will hurt your rankings. Getting online reviews on Google Reviews, your social media pages or on Yelp is pretty easy – all you have to do is ask your clients who have had a good experience with your business. Research shows that 83% of consumers are willing to refer after a positive experience, so go get those reviews!
Things to remember
Now that you have a decent idea of what strategies to follow in order to get your real estate listings and your real estate website to the first place of Google and beyond (think featured snippets!), there are a few things you should remember so that you can gain the full benefits of real estate SEO without any of the negative effects.
Don’t delve into black hat SEO techniques However attractive they may appear, black hat techniques always end up harming your website and search rankings. Most of these techniques are old but some marketers still try to find out new ways to game the system. Given the learning speed of Google’s algorithms in light of recent updates, we wouldn’t recommend using these at all.
Practice patience and keep optimizing As stated in the beginning of this article, SEO takes time. Don’t expect your newly developed website to get to the first page of Google overnight. Good SEO takes time but the results are long-lasting. You can expect good leads for years to come.
Be careful with website changes If for some reason you are revamping your website partially or completely, make sure that your navigational framework is correct. So, whenever you move over content from your old site to your new site, set up 301 redirects to ensure that users will be taken to the new pages.
Start slow but finish strong!
So this concludes one of the most comprehensive real estate SEO guides that you’ll find on the internet. Keep in mind, if you choose a strategy from this article, make sure you follow through with it to the end otherwise it might not be as effective.
The use of voice-enabled devices has increased exponentially during the past few months. These include Alexa from Amazon and Google Home.
Another similar phenomenon is the rise in local searches carried out by smartphones and other hand-held devices. Recent research has revealed that by 2021, search queries through hand-held devices will be responsible for around 1.5 trillion dollars in local sales.
If your business is not already optimized for ‘near me’ or local searches, this is the perfect time to start doing it.
This article will shed light on the importance of local search engine optimization (near-me searches in particular), enabling you to get a higher ranking; whether the user is searching through a desktop, laptop or any hand-held device.
What is meant by a ‘Near Me’ Search?
A ‘near me’ search generally occurs when a user is searching for something nearby, be it a product, service or simply information.
During the past few years, Near-Me searches have increased by 900%. One of the many reasons for this notable rise is that the majority of hand-held devices are GPS enabled; allowing Google to track the physical locations of users. This, in turn, allows Google to return the most localized results to the browser.
For businesses, ‘Near Me’ searches are a great way to reach prospective customers in no time.
When a searcher adds ‘Near Me’ at the end of his or her search, it shows Google that he or she needs the service or product immediately, and intends to make a purchase right away.
Now as we know how local searches are gaining in popularity, let’s explore further and identify the leading categories that are popular with “near me” search queries.
A survey carried out last year revealed that more than 80% of their respondents had performed a ‘Near Me’ search within the span of four days. It further stated that the majority of ‘Near Me’ searches were carried out for food and entertainment. People also searched for finance and banking, and clothes.
The results of the aforementioned survey make it clear to business owners and marketers that optimization for ‘Near Me’ is the most vital aspect of making a sale these days.
How to Optimize for ‘Near Me’ Searches
If you intend to increase your chances of appearing in ‘Near Me’ search results, it is extremely important that your business presence is optimized for these kinds of searches.
The following tips will help you with optimization for ‘Near Me’.
1. Listing on “Google My Business”
Let’s suppose you type ‘Italian Restaurant near me’ in search, and the name of a top Italian restaurant comes up immediately. How does this happen?
First of all, you need to open a business account on Google My Business. When you are creating this business account, make sure to enter the following information correctly:
Name of the business and its complete address.
Directions to reach the given address. These directions should be provided with the help of Google Maps. You should note that the name, address and contact details provided here must be consistent throughout all your business profiles present on the internet.
Working hours of your business (opening and closing times). Contact details including phone numbers and email addresses. Also, add the address of your website.
Make sure that you have selected the appropriate category of your business at the time of opening your business account.
Add a few photographs of your products or services.
Add general requests for users to write reviews. This is very important because prospective customers will read these reviews and make up their mind about making a purchase. Moreover, Google prioritizes (business) results with more reviews.
List down other attributes and amenities that you are offering to your customers, for example, free Wi-Fi, free delivery, etc.
2. Comprehend the Importance of backlinks with geographic anchors
Backlinks are very important if you want to increase your ranking on local ‘Near Me’ searches. You can achieve this by incorporating backlinks that offer geographically-relevant anchor text.
Here is an example: If you want high ranking for all ‘Near Me’ searches for New York, and for ‘steaks’, you must incorporate location-relevant variants of anchor text e.g. ‘best steak house in New York’ and ‘Steak house in New York’, etc.
3. A mobile-friendly website is a must
It is a little known fact that Google has a built-in preference for returning websites in its search results that offer the finest user experience.
You can achieve this by optimizing your website for mobile phones and hand-held devices. It will also increase their load speed on said devices. Consequently, you will rank higher on all ‘Near Me’ searches.
Make sure that your website offers the same great experience to every user regardless of which device they are using to access your website.
4. Obtain and incorporate local links within your blog
One of the best ways of obtaining local links is through your own blog. You can create and share articles through your blog frequently. It provides an opportunity for your audience and other users to remain updated as soon as you offer a new product or a service.
You can obtain local links through your blog and also persuade your audience to buy your products when they are searching for something similar on the internet.
Another great idea is to conduct interviews with local people and ask them to share their opinion about your product or service. These can also be shared on your blog.
This neat little infographic summarizes the basic steps you need to take to optimize your business for “near me” searches:
The Final Word
Near Me searches are getting more and more frequent which means that you need to optimize for these kinds of searches. Apart from using the aforementioned tips, you should also make sure that your URL remains easily readable and user-friendly.
Business owners who are able to tap into the ‘Near Me’ phenomenon sooner than the rest, will be able to reap the rewards earlier. Businesses that ignore it will be left behind in the race to riches.
If you haven’t already started optimizing for ‘Near Me’ searches, it is time to take the lead use it to generate new leads for your business.
2019 saw a great upturn in new websites created and with the majority of businesses developing a digital presence, ranking a website near the top spots has gotten increasingly difficult.
Similarly, search engine optimization (SEO) has changed as well and what used to work in the past, no longer works now (probably!).
For a long time, marketers used to build links upon links to rank and that proved successful up until the Google Penguin update. After which “user intention” gained much more relevance and importance. Since then, SEO has continued to evolve with user intent in mind.
With that being said, SEO strategists have also kept up with the flurry of updates and devised new strategies to ensure that website rankings don’t take a huge hit from all of Google’s updates.
Here is the list of SEO trends that marketers can expect to take advantage of in 2020.
Zero-Click Searches Taking Over
A zero-click search refers to any search query that is answered on the SERP itself such that users do not need any more clicks to complete the search. Zero-click searches have risen over the years, and this is only set to increase as Google becomes more and more integrated with different services.
A study from SparkToro states that more than 50% of the searches end without a click to other content. The analysis carried out in June 2019 found that a lot of Google searches were completed without a click on any paid or organic search result.
Since the introduction of featured snippets by Google in 2014, Google Local Packs, graphs, and more than half of Google searches have now become zero-click searches. This means that the answer to a user’s query lies in the SERP itself without the need to click anywhere. Zero click does not necessarily imply zero opportunities. The end goal always is to create awareness and share information by increasing exposure. Rich knowledge of featured snippets may act like billboard ads that may prove harder to track than website traffic. However, they still give needed exposure to the brand name; build familiarity and sharing information with the audience. Brands that find ways to benefit from such SERP exposure without a click are the ones who will win this new form of SEO trend.
Featured Snippets Taking Charge
Just as zero-click searches have found their way in SERPs, featured snippets have started to dominate SEO. In the scenarios where zero clicks have become prevalent, the information on SERPs has become more essential. Featured snippets usually appear above the first search result. To give the best information, you need to add the answer to an intended query in your featured snippet. Features snippets as a block of information bring a considerable increase to CTR. However, it is easier said than done.
Google has a way of determining quality based featured snippets and ranks them based on the evaluation. Do not take this trend lightly as it generates over 54.68% search results conversion. This proves it is almost half of the overall searches that are converted. Featured snippets represent a great way to rank no 1 on SERPs and generate traffic that is more organic.
Local SEO Changing the Scenario of Search Results
Customers search for the best services and results near them, and they want fast responses. In this aspect, local SEO helps your business to show up on local search results so customers can have quick solutions for their issues. If you have a brick and mortar shop or a franchise. Ranking in a local search guarantees you good business generation and conversions. Both Google and local shoppers recognize the value of having a local presence for any business. Studies suggest that local proximity values a great deal to customers. Local SEO, like Google My Business, allows the customers to have the most relevant search results according to their location. Accurate business information is a must as inconsistent information usually garners distrust for the business. Most of the time, customers directly call a local business without even visiting their website.
Voice Search Optimization
The advent of artificial intelligence has made AI-powered tools like Siri and Google Assistant to get the job done through voice searches. These searches have started to replace type-in search queries. Voice searches affect search engine optimization in big ways as it is all about making audio queries instead of entering searches. However, while making searches via voice, search engines must do a lot more than just showing relevant information. This change has become imminent, as, by the year 2020, more than 50% of the searches will be through voice. Whenever designing new content, be sure to optimize it for voice to take advantage of this trend.
Optimization for Mobile
Any website or content not optimized for mobile can wave goodbye to their potential search rankings. Mobile search optimization is a trend that has grown considerably, and by the year 2020; most of the searches will be on mobile. However, technological aspects have become so advanced now that having a mobile website is not just enough. The interface has to grab attention, be easy to read and should answer all possible questions. Studies show that 4 out of 5 consumers conduct their searches through mobile devices. Search results on mobile have risen to 88% while on laptops and PC’s; it is about 84%. This shows that mobile searching has grown to a considerable value. Make the necessary optimization for mobile to take maximum benefit out of the idea.
Google BERT Update
The Google BERT update came out in 2019 and had all the SEO professionals’ attention. Why? Well, instead of optimizing for a specific or targeted algorithm, BERT focused on user-related optimization and technical content. That means search and aligning content according to user-specific access points. With users having more options to do their searches, SEO’s have to bear in mind all the essential foundations of clean and effective content delivery. With the introduction of BERT, Google has taken a huge step in making searches all about user intent rather than pure string searches.
Video marketing is probably the most engagement-friendly digital strategy at the moment. Studies by Google has established that 6 out of 10 people prefer watching videos online rather than TV. The most common video marketing platform YouTube has become the new TV for people. YouTube has not only shared popular videos with people, but it has also provided marketers with the means of sharing information. The information shared on a video has a direct engagement with the audience in a detailed manner. Current users, especially millennials, prefer videos for either academic or entertainment purposes. This makes online videos as a priority for a huge number of businesses. A top-notch video has the ability to engage the audience while providing necessary business information. But how does it affect SEO? Well, to reach more users, marketers have to optimize their videos for appearing in search results. For this purpose, they use targeted keywords in their descriptions as well as verbal content to reach their relevant audiences.
Content Is (Still!) King
Content is everywhere, from a written text to a picture to a video uploaded on a website, everything is content. Every website has a distinguishing ability based on content that Google finds appropriate. That is why Google prefers websites that have high-quality content. In terms of SEO, content affects everything, from structure to linking strategy to types of link building. Everything in SEO depends on content, and in 2020; you need to have the best content available to succeed. That means SEO’s have to develop or hire people who know how to develop quality content. They need to have proper knowledge about using the best practices for SEO optimized content. Having quality content means you have covered the most effective searches that help build authority for your sites. This demand is used in a very effective ROI based strategy. Certain principles like EAT (Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) allow you to build credibility for Google algorithms so your content ranks up as fast as possible. Using E.A.T and other content-first strategies are still the best ways to go according to Google.
SEO has evolved from just a link building activity to making high-quality, targeted content that fits perfectly with user intent. 2020 is the year of digital marketing in the sense that AI and its understanding of human perception is the closest its ever been. The aforementioned trends have started to gain pace among the users. Some of these trends are still developing and have a long way to go. New and seasonal marketers alike need to consider these trends to give a boost to their SEO strategy as well as give the customers what they need.